Questions tagged [problems]

Chess problems consist of a board position and a task. Most ask for a line of play that mates black in a set amount of moves, or a combination that results in a winning position. Many other types exist, including, but not limited to, construction tasks for various positions and proof games that have numerous goals, selfmates, helpmates, and retrograde analysis. Tournaments and championships exist for composing of original problems and for speed-solving.

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18
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2answers
4k views

Is the position in this trick question reachable?

I found this trick question on r/Anarchy chess: White to move, mate in two. [FEN "2R2RK/6PP/5P/3PN/P/1pQ3p/n1p1qbp/5brk w - - 0 1"] [StartFlipped "1"] The trick is that But is ...
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1answer
440 views

Quickly losing a queen in style

I accidentally ran into this game again. [FEN ""] [startply "7"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 Qf6 3. e5 Qf5 4. Bd3 What would be the fastest way to lose a queen by a direct attack on ...
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2answers
302 views

The slowest Fool's Mate in Chess960

The fastest Fool's Mate in Chess960 is obviously 1. d4 g5 2. Qxg5# with any ..Q.BRKR setup, which even beats standard chess. But which is the starting position with the slowest mate? I checked a few ...
18
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3answers
5k views

Is there a double-forced mate position?

A usual forced mate position is where the winning player can play in a way that ensures checkmate, no matter what (legal) moves the opponent makes (unless the game ends due to a non-play reason, i.e. ...
2
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3answers
336 views

Why is Ng5 a draw here?

Was shared a chess position and reached this position. I didn't understand why Ng5 is a draw. I analyzed h6 and h5 as responses but they fall to the same checkmating theme of rook checkmate on h8. ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Difference between chess puzzle and chess problem in this episode of The Queen's Gambit?

While a chess puzzle is any puzzle involving aspects of chess, a chess problem is an orthodox puzzle in which one must play and win or draw a game, starting with a certain composition of pieces on the ...
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3answers
853 views

Chess positions that are easy for humans but near impossible or confusing for computers

I noticed that one student is performing exceptionally well and beyond his level during an online class. I was wondering if there are particular chess positions that I can use during class to find out ...
11
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3answers
6k views

Why is the queen considered lost?

In this game, white just moved the queen from b7 to c6, and the computer marks this as a "critical blunder" (and suggests that the bishop should take the knight). In this position it ...
3
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2answers
191 views

Cyclic attack puzzle

I saw this puzzle and a solution sometime in the previous century, I don't remember where, and I don't remember the solution. Place the 16 white men on an otherwise empty chessboard so that the ...
6
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1answer
228 views

A New Year's Math Riddle

Here's a fun and clean riddle for the New Year! I found the material for it on Krabbe's site. I will provide the link when it is solved. How many times can this position be repeated, with both sides ...
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4answers
380 views

Positions in which only a single long sequence of correct moves avoids forced checkmate sequences

So for n steps, one player can only choose one out of many moves, because all others lead to forced checkmate sequences. Only one path from the root to the leaves of the game tree avoids a certain ...
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1answer
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Is there a position where it's possible to claim a draw by both the 50 moves and threefold repetition rules?

It doesn't matter which one the player chooses in that situation, but I'm wondering whether someone can come up with a game where this holds true for at least one move.
2
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1answer
57 views

Helpmate in four and a half moves

Merry Christmas everyone! Try this problem out that I made yesterday for SuperProblem.ru. With White to move, solve this helpmate, meaning White and Black work together to checkmate Black, in 4.5 ...
6
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1answer
501 views

In this position why shouldn't the knight capture the rook?

The white knight is going to move to e6. However, the computer advises the rook to capture the pawn in b2. Even after the knight moves to e6, forking the queen and the rook, it advises to NOT capture ...
8
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1answer
174 views

Selfmate problem

[FEN "8/7P/8/p2p4/P2p4/pB1p4/3P4/k2K4 w - - 0 1"] Composed by IM Geir Sune Tallaksen. White moves first, and must force Black to deliver checkmate. Give the sequence of moves that force ...
3
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1answer
77 views

Coordinates probem

[FEN "8/8/8/8/8/4R3/2N2R2/3N1k1K w - - 0 1"] Given that this position could be reached in a legal game of chess, and that no piece was captured on the last move, are we seeing the board ...
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2answers
300 views

A mate in two problem

[FEN "8/8/4R3/8/2kBn3/K2pQ3/8/8 w - - 0 1"] 1. Re5? With White to move, here is a mate in two problem that I couldn't figure out. My opinion is that the first move is 1. Re5, but Black ...
3
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2answers
640 views

Where does the black king stand in this specific position?

[FEN "7r/pppppKpP/6P1/8/8/8/n7/8 w - - 0 1"] Assume that the following position was reached in a legal game of chess. In the last 5 moves, no pawn has moved and no pieces were captured. The ...
6
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1answer
452 views

Brainteaser puzzle

So... initial position is [FEN "7k/8/6KB/8/p7/8/Q7/8 w - - 0 1"] Now... Neither white's king nor queen has moved in the previous five moves. In addition, no pieces have been captured by ...
5
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1answer
235 views

Is it possible to reach King vs King by moving each piece at most twice?

I'm interested in short games that reach a King vs King endgame. Sam Lloyd reached King vs King after only 17 moves. This has since been improved to 16.5 moves. (See this and that.) One can show that ...
10
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1answer
611 views

Find color of the pieces

Given the following position, what colour are the pieces and what was the last move played? [FEN "B1KRN3/PP6/2QK1R2/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"]
5
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1answer
710 views

Do you know this proof game?

I'm not familiar with this proof game. [FEN "r2qk1nr/ppp1pp1p/2n1p2p/8/8/1P6/NPPPPPPP/R3K2R w KQkq - 0 1"] What square was the white queen captured and how?
3
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1answer
327 views

Retrograde analysis problem

Given that this position is legal, and could be reached in a legal game of chess, what were the two last half-movess, or one move for White and one for Black? [FEN "5K2/8/6Pk/8/5Q1R/8/8/8 w - - 0 ...
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1answer
184 views

Can you help me with this serieshelpmate problem?

I found a different kind of problem, a serieshelpmate. I'm trying to get better by thinking outside of the box and solving different types of puzzles. So I found this one but I'm kind of stuck. [FEN &...
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3answers
367 views

What's the deep idea behind this puzzle?

I'm trying to get better by doing many tactics puzzles a day. This one I found very interesting. [FEN "6rk/6rp/p3pQ2/3pP3/3Pb3/1PP1PRR1/4q2P/6K1 w - - 0 1"] 1. Qxg7+! Rxg7 2. Rf8+ Rg8 3. ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Is there more than 1 solution?

In this selfmate puzzle is there more than one solution? I think I found one but I was curious to know if there is more than one. 4N2k/5P2/3p1rP1/2pP4/2p1K1R1/2B1P1N1/6Pp/8 w - - 0 0 Credit: J. C. J. ...
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1answer
128 views

Another good chess problem

[Title "The Chess Monthly, 11/1860, Helpmate In 3 Moves (Version)"] [FEN "6R1/7q/8/5k2/3K1B2/8/8/8 b - - 0 1"] [startflipped ""] Now, in this chess problem by Samuel ...
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1answer
74 views

Help needed with a problem

On an empty board, how can you place a White king, two White, rooks, and a Black king so that White can give mate in 4 ways from that position?
4
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2answers
574 views

The quickest selfmate in 1

How quickly can a legal game reach a position where one side must give checkmate? This is in effect Evergalo's reading (see his (now deleted) answer) of Rewan Demontay's Question 33154; that question ...
0
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1answer
172 views

What is the fastest way to reach a position in which one side is forced to choose between checkmate and stalemate?

I had an interesting idea recently. While there are many proof games ending in checkmate or stalemate, why not both, I thought. So, thus I wondered, what is the fastest way to reach a position in ...
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3answers
2k views

How to solve this puzzle of Martin Gardner?

Martin Gardner mentioned the following "chess" problem in his column, Mathematical Games, for Scientific American (he got it from Smullyan, who learned about it from a high school math ...
3
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2answers
137 views

How many moves needed to reach this position?

"Homebase" is where all the surviving pieces are apparently on their starting squares. Here is a very easy new example proof game: can you find the unique shortest game that leads to this ...
9
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1answer
889 views

From Mate-in-3 to Mate-in-1

Here is my new problem in 3 steps - the key designates here the piece that moves first in the solution. An other way to reach a mate in one I hope you'll enjoy... [Title "From Mate in 3 to ...
2
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1answer
104 views

Fastest way to get both kings to the other side of the board?

Say that both players collaborate to get White's king to the eighth rank and Black's king to the first. What's the shortest sequence of moves that achieves this?
23
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5answers
3k views

Another Unusual Mate in One

Here is another mate-in-one of my own i.e. a not quite usual one... [title "Mate in one"] [FEN "3b4/R3P3/2kPR1n1/P1p1n3/4K1p1/2Nr4/5p2/1b6 w KQkq - 0 1"] Imagine, you ...
2
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1answer
163 views

Puzzle - Mate in 5 - #001

I've been writing some chess puzzles lately and I thought I would post some of them up here. I'm quite fond of this one so I thought I would share. I traditionally am not a fan of problems that are a &...
7
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1answer
416 views

Mate in One the Missing King

The post "A mysterious mate in one" made me think of one of my last problems which is also a Mate-in-One with no black King: [Title "White to move and mate in one"] [FEN &...
4
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1answer
45 views

Timeline of key historical changes to FIDE Laws & WFCC Codex?

A well-answered question here: FIDE Laws of Chess pre-2017 asks for locations of historical sets of FIDE Laws. I am asking for something which partially builds on that. Is there a timeline of "...
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3answers
5k views

A mysterious mate in one

Here's a question that's a little off the usual format, but problem questions like this have been done before and are on topic, so here we go! Question: Can you find the mysterious mate in one? The ...
2
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2answers
134 views

A position with a choice between checkmate and perpetual check

For some odd reason I'm searching for a game, or rather a position, where one player can force a win via checkmate (can be check in n, where n is any number), but they can also force a draw via ...
4
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1answer
164 views

What is the shortest possible legal game where there are 6 pawns on the a-file or h-file?

I was recently reading a post on this forum which said that there must be 15 captured pieces in order for there to be 6 pawns on the a-file or h-file. That got me thinking how complicated that would ...
2
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2answers
2k views

How long can a player hold off a draw by the 50-move rule?

Going by rules strictly about the board state, how long can a player theoretically hold off a draw by the 50-move rule? White will play as long as possible, and not want to lose. Black will claim a ...
1
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2answers
162 views

How many times can the king and its surrounding squares be attacked?

In a legal position, how many times can the king and its surrounding squares be attacked? There is a total of 9 possible squares to be attacked-the square the king is on and the eight squares ...
6
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3answers
163 views

32 pieces protected once: How many moves?

From the orthodox starting position, how many moves will you need to have the 32 pieces protected exactly once? (The answer is astonishingly low.)
4
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1answer
206 views

Shortest game controlling a single square 16 times?

Does someone know the shortest orthodox chess game such that a single square is directly controlled 16 times? After 1. Nf3 for instance, the square d2 is controlled 5 times. And 2. ... Qa5 pushes the ...
3
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3answers
160 views

Retrograde problem websites

I am looking for a good chess website about retrograde analysis problems, but after a few searches, I haven't found anything. Are there any websites that you can recommend?
5
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0answers
109 views

Where are the non captured Black pieces?

[FEN "8/8/8/8/8/PP4PP/2PPPP2/NNBQKBRR w - - 0 1"] Here is a problem from my blog once more. This is the position after White's 14th move. Seven Black pieces were captured during the game ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Which White piece moved only once?

Here is a chess problem that uses retrograde analysis. I’ve also posted it on the “France-Echecs” chess forum, which is in French of course, and on my blog. [FEN "3qk3/3pp3/8/8/8/3PP3/1PP2PP1/...
4
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3answers
840 views

Systematic ways to approach more difficult problems

As I’m done solving easy puzzles (1000–1500), I decided to try some 1700 puzzles, but I’m finding it very hard to solve them as there are no obvious checks, captures and threats. Also, most of the ...
10
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2answers
3k views

Maximum number of knights populating a chess board so that no knights are attacking one another

The 8 queen's puzzle is a well-known puzzle involving placing 8 queens on a chessboard so that no queen attacks another queen. It is more or less obvious that 8 is the maximum number of queens that ...

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